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Did Changing Sentiment Drive SEMAFO's (TSE:SMF) Share Price Down By 30%?

Simply Wall St

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. We regret to report that long term SEMAFO Inc. (TSE:SMF) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 30% in three years, versus a market return of about 16%. It's down 43% in about a quarter.

Check out our latest analysis for SEMAFO

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

SEMAFO became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. So given the share price is down it's worth checking some other metrics too.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 15% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching SEMAFO more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

TSX:SMF Income Statement, December 20th 2019

We know that SEMAFO has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on SEMAFO

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 20% in the last year, SEMAFO shareholders lost 6.7%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 1.1% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. If you would like to research SEMAFO in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.